The Watchman

The Watchman

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Count Your Blessings

May God give you a sense of what He is up to in your life.  May you see glimpses of the breakthrough that is just up ahead.  May you - with all your heart - believe that trusting Him over what your eyes see, is totally and completely worth it.  May you shift your weight off of your logical reasonings and onto the weightiness of His powerful promises to you.  You have got help and resources that go far beyond anything you could ever need.  Smile with joy and walk by faith today.  He has got you.  
- Susie Larson

Sometimes the love/hate relationship I am having with my body is almost overwhelming.  Each morning as I wake, I make an evaluation of what and how I am feeling.  Usually those first few minutes are a pretty good measure of how the day will be.  I have to admit that no longer having the commitment of a job has allowed me mornings when I can pull the covers over my head, burrow into my bed and take a slower start to the day.  This is a real blessing to me at this time.

Another blessing I have received is the need to slow down and choose wisely in the things to which I say yes.  This has allowed me to spend more time with my children, including more quiet time.

There are two scriptures in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that have come to have greater meaning to me recently:

Mosiah 4:27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

D&C 10:4 Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end.

As an LDS woman I have often felt pressure to be all things to all people; to be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect cook, the perfect homemaker, the perfect friend, the perfect teacher, the perfect volunteer, the perfect employee, etc.  When I felt short of this perfection, I was wracked with guilt and feelings of worthlessness.  But guess what! No one is perfect.  Nor are we able to or expected to be.  What is expected is to do the best we can with wisdom and order.

I think this idea must have been forefront in my mind as I chose the lesson for our monthly mid-week women's meeting.  To read this beautiful message entitled "Wisdom and Order" click here.  One of the quotes I found most compelling was from Sister Elaine Jack, former General Relief Society President.  Sister Jack states, "Sisters, how are these things manifest unto us? Plainly, through the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, through the example of our Savior's life. Only by living His gospel can we find what is real. We can never accurately take the measure of our lives based on social, economic, ethnic, age, marital, or physical conditions. Ask yourself, are the comparisons you may make of yourself and others based on the model of the Savior's life, or do they come from trying to fit your life into the pattern of others' lives?"

While comparing ourselves to others can bring about feelings of discouragement and disappointment, we can look to others for inspiration.  I truly believe that if everyone were to place their problems in a pile and we were allowed to pick those trials that we would like, we would inevitably choose those trials that we now have.  It would be disingenuous to envy someone's blessings if I did not also envy the trial that helped them obtain that same blessing.  Let's face it - we all have trials.  Some may be more obvious than others.  Many quietly move forward steadily and with faith, while others are more vocal as they need and desire external support.  Neither way is right or wrong.  And at times our need for support and external validation fluctuate.  It is just important that we continue to move forward.

As I look around me, I see many individuals who inspire me.  Most significant in my life is my aunt.  She has battled MS for many years, yet even now as she is confined mainly to a wheelchair, she continues to find ways to serve others.  Whenever we see her, she has a smile on her face and a positive word for everyone.

This song is so beautiful, I wanted to share it.

I do not believe that all blessings come through trials, but often our greatest blessings come after a trial of our faith.  I believe that man was put upon this earth to be tested, to determine our willingness to live according to the will of our Heavenly Father.  I am often disappointed when I hear someone comment that an individual needed to be humbled or "called to repentance".  If good things can happen to bad people, then the converse is also true - bad things happen to good people.  I believe that there are times that we are given trials because the Lord knows we can handle them, our faith will remain unshaken and only be strengthened, but we must go through the trial for those around us or because through our trial not only will we learn and grow, but we can become the Lord's tool that helps someone else grow.

This was brought home to me like a being struck by a sledgehammer this past weekend as I attended my daughter's dance recital.  Over the past year, her dance teacher had her world turned upside down as illness has left her in a wheelchair.  A year ago I watched this amazing woman take stage at the recital with one of her students who was living with cancer and wanted to be a part of the recital and dance as she loved to do.  A special number was choreographed between student and teacher that left not a dry eye in the house.

This year it was her turn to dance from a chair and again leave us all touched.  I thought back to the December recital as she called to encourage and pray with her students from her hospital room.  This year has not been easy, but I see in my daughter how she has been inspired by Mrs. Lacey.  Emily has learned to keep going even when others tell you you can't.  Emily has felt unconditional love and support.  Emily has learned far more than turns and kicks and steps.  Emily has learned by example lessons that are priceless.

Emily with Mrs. Lacey